Our British Wild Plants area was developed in the 1960’s as an ecological display, and was constructed from carboniferous and oolitic limestone, and includes a chalk grassland and a boulder clay slope. This feature offers opportunity to grow plants which enjoy each of these habitats.
The top of the mound is planted with native trees and shrubs including Sorbus bristoliensis, Viburnum lantana (wayfaring tree), Taxus baccata (yew) and Cornus sanguinea (dogwood). These create shade for boulder clay woodland species, such as the oxlip (Primula elatior), stinking hellebore (Helleborus foetidus) and the wood cranesbill (Geranium sylvaticum). In the open, limestone slopes grow Lathyrus pratensis (meadow vetchling), Silene vulgaris (bladder campion), the Cheddar pink (Dianthus gratianopolitanus), and the rare yellow bugle, Ajuga chamaepitys. The open chalk grassland area at the foot of the mound contains among others Polygala calcarea, or chalk milkwort, and Pulsatilla vulgaris (pasqueflower) which is a common feature of similar local habitats.
The British Wild Plants area is deliberately maintained as a naturalistic planting, to encourage species to self seed, and to give an authentic ‘natural’ appearance.